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Hi all

Hope you can help! I'm (trying to) restore my stair case. The plan is to stain the treads, newel posts and rail dark, and paint the risers white.

Have got as far as remving the carpet, hundreds of nails/staples, stripping the paint from the treads/risers etc, and have now started sanding some of the stairs back to bare wood.

Know I probably have a way to go, but I have a couple of questions/concerns:

- After a coarse sand, the centre of the stair is darker than the lighter edges (you can see in the picture below). Not sure which is the 'real' colour. Do I have to just keep sanding to even this up, or is there another way? Or will the stain even this up itself?

- Finally...I've got a range of either light/netural wood fillers. Will find a way to test the one I go with, but any hints/tips to make sure I get an even colour when staining?

Thanks so much in advance! So much work...just want it to turn out right.

Russell


 
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As you've probably realised, the darker colour in the middle is where a carpet runner would originally have protected the wood from fading in daylight. You might be able to reduce the contract by continuing to sand - try it and see. Otherwise wood bleach might help, though it might be hard to obscure the transition between light and dark. Personally I think aggressive sanding should make it acceptable.

If you're planning on using wood filler, be aware that it won't take a stain in the same way as the wood, and can stand out.

When I stained and varnished my staircase, I started off with a water-based stain, but found it dried too quickly and the result was blotchy. A solvent-based stain gave a longer open time and a better finish. This is what I used:

http://www.homedecoratingcentre.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Colron.png

Then sealed it with this:

http://homebase.scene7.com/is/image/homebase/508106_R_Z001?$TMB$&wid=420&hei=420

I've no particular reason to prefer those products over others; they're just what I've always used.

Cheers
Richard
 
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Richard - thanks so much for the response. Really appreciated.

I'll keep sanding for now, and see what happens. Do you think that doing a couple of coats of dark stain won't even up a small difference in colour (i.e. it'll still appear 'two tone')? Trying to work out how much I need to work to get one even colour before staining.

Think filler is going to be needed. Sounds like I need to find a way to do some good testing.
 
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Do you think that doing a couple of coats of dark stain won't even up a small difference in colour ?
Probably not, unless it's really dark.
If you're not planning to have carpet, aren't you worried about the stairs being dangerously slippy? (Ever walked on a waxed/varnished floor in socks?)
 
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Do you think that doing a couple of coats of dark stain won't even up a small difference in colour ?
Probably not, unless it's really dark, like ebony.
If you're not planning to have carpet, aren't you worried about the stairs being dangerously slippy? (Ever walked on a waxed/varnished floor in socks?)
My stairs are OK, although I have used a matt varnish and I don't polish it. It's certainly a consideration though.

Cheers
Richard
 
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Thanks both - I'm a beginner with all this so this is all really appreciated...

I'm not planning on using ebony - but certainly a very dark brown. Sadly I can't remember precisely the colour I was thinking of, but ultiamtely a look something like this:
http://centsationalgirl.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/cgwoodstaircase_thumb.jpg?f3900e Or this
https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/9a/97/07/9a97079551d6dee98967e87b94ac602e.jpg

Sounds like I need to keep sanding, particularly the lighter areas, and see if I can even up the colour (though I've already done a fair bit with a coarse paper).

Plan was to go for a combined wax/oil finish - one of the Osmo products had been recommended. Had always assumed so many people had done this it wouldn't be too slippy... Hmmmm.
https://www.brewers.co.uk/product/HA4717T
 
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I've only encountered un-carpeted but varnished wood stair cases a couple of times in my life, and they were both death traps. See 'em a lot in aspirational home magazines, but not in real life. Maybe a reason for that! :LOL: Bare unfinished wood is safe, but not suitable for the home, obviously.
 
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I haven't slipped yet, but who knows?

A quick Google suggests that people certainly do use oil and wax on stair treads, but how safe it is I wouldn't know.

Cheers
Richard
 
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Loving that this has kicked off some debate. I feel fulfilled.

Cheers chaps. Will do some more investigating on oil/wax.

I might come back on here pleading for advice should further sanding not get rid of the two-tone stairs...
 
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